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CONTENTS

Contents
Preface
Introduction
Symbols
Part 1: First Steps
1
Strategy, Tactics, Combinations
2
The Basic Mates
3
Named Mates
4
Mating Positions Using a Single Piece
5
Combinative Patterns

4
7
9

10
13
16
22
35

Part 2: Mating Combinations Using Two Pieces


6
Queen + Rook
7
Queen + Bishop
8
Queen + Knight
9
Queen + Pawn
10
Rook + Rook
11
Rook + Bishop
12
Rook + Knight
13
Rook + Pawn
14
Bishop + Bishop
15
Bishop + Knight
16
Knight + Knight
17
King + Piece
18
Minor Piece + Pawn
Training Positions: First Set

64
65
82
105
120
131
138
151
162
167
170
179
184
189
193

Part 3: Target: The King in the Centre


19
King on its Back Rank
20
King on its Second Rank
21
King on its Third Rank
Training Positions: Second Set

205
206
229
240
243

Part 4: Target: The Castled King


22
Rook Sacrifices
23
Bishop Sacrifices
24
Knight Sacrifices
25
Queen Sacrifices
26
Multiple Sacrifices
27
Exceptional Combinations
Training Positions: Third Set

249
251
272
286
298
312
339
344

Solutions to the Training Positions

354

Index of Names

379

TARGET: THE KING IN THE CENTRE

Part 3: Target: The King in the Centre

Just as in Part 4 (Target: The Castled King),


there are certain difficulties in classifying the
combinations into categories. To start with, an
attack on a king which is on its initial square is
not the same as if the king is situated, say, on the
fourth or fifth rank, i.e., the geometrical centre
of the board.
Thus for king in the centre we mean on one
of the central files, but excluding the fourth and
fifth ranks, since such attacks or combinations
are unusual and, in any case, when a king is so
exposed there should not be major difficulties
in delivering mate.
This part of the book will be divided into
three chapters, according to the position of the
defenders king.

19: King on its Back Rank


20: King on its Second Rank
21: King on its Third Rank

206
229
240

In the following diagram we have marked


with a star all the positions that we are classifying here as king in the centre.
The king on c8 or c1 poses difficulties for
our classification, since these squares can correspond to a king castled on the queenside. We
have therefore only included such positions here
when it is clear that the king is not on these

-+-:.:-+
+-+.:.+-+.:.:-+
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
+-:.:.+-+-:.:-+
+-+.:.+squares as a consequence of queenside castling, but through the vicissitudes of the game.
Similarly, the placing of the king on c2 or c7
is a situation which, generally speaking, would
correspond to a king that has castled queenside.
However, the kings location on such a square
presupposes first of all a weaknesses in the castled position, since the c-pawn has been advanced and, secondly, the king has moved to
occupy that square on its second rank, where it
is more exposed, for which reason it could, possibly, be considered under the category king in
the centre.
Therefore when considering this type of position we shall decide according to the merits of
the specific case whether to include it in this
section or in Part 4, which discusses attacks on
castled kings.

KING ON ITS BACK RANK

19 King on its Back Rank

In this chapter we study positions in which the


exposed king is situated on one of the squares
e8, d8, f8 and c8, divided into the following
sections:
206
1: Knight Sacrifices
211
2: Bishop Sacrifices
215
3: Rook Sacrifices
217
4: Queen Sacrifices
221
5: Multiple Sacrifices

1: Knight Sacrifices
Sacrifices of a knight against an uncastled king
take place usually on e6 and f7, although, of
course, there are innumerable alternative possibilities, not counting possible passive sacrifices, i.e., sacrifices that occur when one side
has a piece that is attacked, but declines to defend it or retreat it.

r+-+k+-t
+lw-vp+p+-+p+pz
+p+-Z-+-+-SpZ-+
+-+-V-WPZP+-+PZ
+K+R+-+R
Nievski Grigorov
Pernik 1977

The position cries out for a knight sacrifice on


e6. However, it is vital to see how to continue the
attack effectively after the capture on g6.
1 xe6! fxe6 2 xg6+ f8 3 f5!
It is essential to activate the bishop, which
now threatens to take on h6.
3...g5
3...exf5 is met by 4 e6. But now the black
bishop has abandoned an important diagonal...

4 c5+! 1-0
After 4...xc5 5 d7 e7 6 f6 White wins
easily.

r+-+k+-t
+-+-+pzp
P+-zl+-+
+-+qz-+-+-s-+-v
S-V-+PZPZ-+-+-Z
T-+QML+R
Holmsten Couso
Stockholm 1998/9

Both kings are still on their initial squares,


but White has numerous weaknesses in the
vicinity of his king (the g1-a7 diagonal, for
example). Black, on the other hand, has an
advantage in development and is attacking
the pawn on f3.
1...xf3+ 2 f2 c5+!
Sacrificing the knight to launch a full-scale
attack on the white king.
3 xf3 d5+ 4 g4 f6!? 5 b5+ e7
Both kings are exposed, but Whites has already reached the fourth rank: a black mark
against his royal career.
6 a4 h5+ 7 h3 f2! 0-1
There is now no defence against the two
threatened mates: 8...e6# and 8...g2#.
In the following position, Black is just about
to castle, but here just about = too late, allowing Kurt Richter to launch one of his famous attacks.
1 e6!
A fairly obvious knight sacrifice, exploiting
the pin on the black knight. International Master

KING ON ITS BACK RANK

r+-wk+-t
zlzn+pz-z-+-+-z
+L+Pz-S-+-+-+-+
+-+-+-+PZPW-ZPZ
+-MR+-+R
K. Richter Brinckmann
German Ch, Aachen 1935

Here 2...d7 is better, but after 3 xd8


xd8 4 xd5 exd5 5 xd5+ c7, White can
continue with 6 f7+ or 6 e6, in both cases
with a winning position.
3 xd5
Even better was the queen sacrifice 3 xe6+!
xe6 4 c6+.
3...e7 4 xe6 1-0

Rudolf Teschner commented: Black had not


foreseen this tremendous jump of the knight, a
magical piece whose survival he is unable to
permit. In any case, Black is already lost.
1...fxe6 2 dxe6 0-0 3 xd7 g5+ 4 b1
ae8 5 xc7 e7 6 d7 xg2 7 c1 c8 8
d8+ 1-0
Black resigned in view of 8...h7 9 xe7
and 8...xd8 9 xd8+ h7 10 xe7.

-+-skv-t
+-+-+pzp+-+p+-z
wp+lZ-V-+-S-+-+
+-+Q+-ZP+-+-ZLZ
+-+R+-MTukmakov Hulak
Croatian Team Ch, Pula 1999

White has mobilized all his pieces, unlike


Black, whose king is also still in the centre. In
such a situation, the extra pawn is unimportant
and White now demonstrates the superiority of
his position.
1 xe6! fxe6
1...xe6? allows 2 xd8+ xd8 3 xd8#,
while 1...xe6? is met by 2 xd5 hxg5 3
c6+ e7 4 d6#.
2 g6+ f7?

207

rs-+kt-+
zp+l+pWp
-+-Zp+-+
wL+n+-+-+-S-+-+
Z-+-+-+-ZP+-ZPZ
+-MR+-+R
Beliaev Silaev
Correspondence 1975-6

White has sacrificed a piece for two pawns


in order to obtain this dominant position. But
the two pawns are not his only compensation:
the two undeveloped black pieces on the queenside are another significant factor in the struggle.
1 xe6! fxe6
The capture is forced, in view of the threat of
mate on f8.
2 xd5! d8 (D)
2...exd5 allows 3 e7#.

rs-wkt-+
zp+l+-Wp
-+-Zp+-+
+L+R+-+-+-+-+-+
Z-+-+-+-ZP+-ZPZ
+-M-+-+R
3 f5!! xf5 4 g8+ 1-0
4...f8 5 xe6+ and mate.

208

FUNDAMENTAL CHECKMATES

-+-t-v-T
+-+lmpz-z-sp+-+
+LwpZPZPW-S-+-+
+-+-+-+-ZP+-+-+
+K+-+-+-

1...h3! 2 f1
Obviously the bishop is taboo because of the
fork on f3: 2 gxh3? xf3+ 3 f1 xd2+.
2...xf3!
Neither of the two black pieces can be taken.
3 f4 (D)
3 c3 e3.

Zinser Lombardy
Zagreb 1969
The position is explosive, but what is clear is
that Black is very cramped and White has an
overwhelming space advantage. This, added to
the fact that the four white pieces are all very
active, proves decisive.
1 f6+
In the game White played 1 exd6+?, squandering much of his advantage.
1...gxf6 2 gxf6+ e8 3 xe6!! g1+
Naturally, 3...xb4 loses to 4 c7# or 4
xf8#, while 3...fxe6 is met by 4 g4, threatening both 5 xe6# and 5 g6#.
4 a2
Now the queen covers g4, but if 4...fxe6,
then 5 xd6, winning.

r+l+r+-+
+p+-+pmp
pw-+-sp+
+-+Ps-+-+L+-+-+
S-+-+P+PZ-WN+PZ
+-+RM-+R
Kotov Bondarevsky
USSR Ch, Moscow 1945

Blacks command of the g1-a7 diagonal


proves decisive, and the presence of the black
rook on the e-file is also important, since the
white king remains on its original square.

r+-+r+-+
+p+-+pmp
pw-+-sp+
+-+P+-+-+L+-W-+
S-+-+n+l
PZ-+N+PZ
+-+R+K+R
3...g4!?
Here is the knight sacrifice.
4 xf3 e3+ 5 e1 xg2 6 f2 xh1
White resigned a few moves later.

r+-m-tl+
z-+n+-+p
-zp+-+p+
+-S-+-+-+-Z-+-w
+-+N+-+P
PZ-+Q+-+
+K+RT-+V. Milov Keleevic'
Lenk 1996

The situation of a king on one of the central


files cries out for the opening of lines, the motif
that inspires the majority of sacrifices. In this
case, White already has his artillery occupying
ideal posts, but he has sacrificed a pawn and
must employ urgent methods to speed up his attack on the enemy king.
1 d5!!
The opening of the d-file is a necessity and
furthermore it proves decisive.

KING ON ITS BACK RANK

1...xc5
Or: 1...bxc5 2 dxc6; 1...cxd5 2 e6+ xe6
3 xe6 f6 4 xd5 c8 5 c5; 1...xd5 2
e6+ xe6 3 xe6 f6 4 c5! xe6 5
xe6+ c8 6 xf8 xf8 7 e8+ b7 8
xa8 xa8 9 d8+ b7 10 xf8.
2 xc5 xd5
Or 2...bxc5 3 dxc6+ c7 (3...c8 4 a6+
c7 5 b7#) 4 a6, threatening both 5 b7#
and 5 d7+.
3 e6
Threatening mate on d7, and 3...bxc5 is met
by 4 xc6, threatening 5 xd5# and 5 xa8+.
1-0

-t-wk+-t
+lvn+pzp
pz-+ps-+
+-z-+-SP+-+N+-+
+Q+P+-Z-Z-+PZLZ
T-V-M-+R
Lalic' Hulak
Croatia Cup, Pula 1996

The pawn duo f7+e6 is self-supporting, but is


vulnerable since, as is well known, the squares
f7 and f2 are the weakest on the board and the
black king still has not castled.
1 xf7!
A manoeuvre to draw out the black king.
1...xf7 2 g5+ g6?
This loses, though the reason isnt very obvious. 2...e7?? 3 xe6+ f8 4 f7#, 2...g8??
3 xe6+ f8 4 f7# and 2...f8?? 3 xb7 (intending xe6+) are all clearly hopeless. The
best defence was 2...e8 3 xe6 xg2 4 xd8
xd8 5 g1 d5, when all is not lost.
3 xb7 xb7 4 d4
Threatening 5 d3+.
4...e5 5 f7+ f5
When the king reaches its fourth rank, it is
usually all over.
6 e4+ 1-0
6...g4 7 f3#.

209

r+-+kv-t
zp+-+pzp
-+-+ps-+
w-+pS-V-+P+-+-+
+-+-+-+PZ-+-ZPZ
T-+QT-MNezhmetdinov Kamyshev
Russian Ch, Gorky 1950

There is no great mystery about Whites advantage here; all his pieces are developed and
Blacks are not. To achieve this, and also to detain the enemy king in the centre, White has invested a pawn.
1 xf6
Opening the position by 1 cxd5 is a very
strong alternative.
1...gxf6 2 xf7?!
A typical sacrifice in such positions, when
the white forces are ready to create serious
problems for the king in the centre. That said,
once again 2 cxd5! is a clearer way to continue
the attack on the king.
2...xf7 3 h5+ e7 4 cxd5 e5 (D)

r+-+-v-t
zp+-m-+p
-+-+-z-+
w-+Pz-+Q
-+-+-+-+
+-+-+-+PZ-+-ZPZ
T-+-T-M-

5 f4! xd5?
In reality, this struggle is less about material
than position. With this capture of the d5-pawn,
all Black does is open more lines of attack
against his own king. There are a number of
better defensive tries, such as 5...d8 6 fxe5
d7 and 5...b6+ 6 h1 g7.
6 fxe5 f5 7 e6

210

FUNDAMENTAL CHECKMATES

Threatening 8 f7+ and the black king is


unable to go to the d-file because of ad1.
7...f6 8 h4!
Threatening 9 g5# and 9 f7#, now that
the escape-square g5 is covered.
8...c5+ 9 h1 xe6 10 h6+ 1-0
After 10...f7 (or 10...e7) 11 xe6+, it
will soon be mate.

r+lwkv-t
zp+-+p+p
ns-+p+p+
+N+pZPSL
-+pZ-+-+
+-+-V-+-+P+-+PZ
+R+Q+RMB. Lawson Hervieux
New York State Ch, New York 1999

As in the previous case, poor development


is here the main motif of the combination that
follows. White has sacrificed two pawns to
create direct threats against a king which has
remained in the centre. Note that Black still
has four pieces to bring into play, as well as the
queen.
1 xf7! xf7 2 fxg6++ g7
2...g8 3 f3 e7 4 g7! xg7 (4...xg7 5
g3+; 4...xg7 5 g5) 5 f7+.
3 f7+ g8 4 g4 g7
4...h6 5 g7!.
5 xg7+! 1-0
5...xg7 6 gxh7+ f8 (6...xh7 7 g6#) 7
h6+ e7 8 g7#.
In the next position there is too much pressure on the points e6 and f5, and although Black
has already mobilized his queenside pawns, the
struggle between these two grandmasters is
clearly tilting in Whites favour. Adams conducts the attack in model fashion.
1 xe6+!
This opens invasion routes along the lightsquare diagonals dominated by Whites bishop
and queen.

r+-+-m-t
+l+-vp+-w-zp+-+
z-+-+p+-zLSPZQ+
+-+-+-+PZP+-+-Z
+K+R+-+R
Adams Serper
New York 1996

1...fxe6 2 g6 c7
Or 2...d8 3 xe6, with the possible continuation 3...e8 4 xf5+ g7 5 hg1+ h6 6
d3 intending h3+.
3 xe6 e8 4 hg1
4 b5+ d8 (or 4...c6 5 e5!) 5 e5 is a little
more forceful.
4...xe4 5 g7
White keeps extending his tentacles.
5...d8
Or: 5...c8 6 b5+; 5...b8 6 dg1 f8 7
g8; 5...d7 6 b5!.
6 xe7! xe7 7 xd6+ xd6
7...e8 8 g6+ f8 9 f6+.
8 xd6+ e8
8...c8 9 a6+ xa6 (9...b7 10 c6+) 10
xa6+.
9 e5+ 1-0
The finish would be 9...d7 10 b5+ c6
11 d5+.

-+r+k+-t
+pwl+p+p
p+-Wpz-+
s-+-+-+-+-SP+-+
+-+-+-+P+-+LZPZ
+R+R+-MKasparov Hjartarson
Tilburg 1989

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